16 Jul 2012

Director of Public Health pleads for funding to fight TB outbreak in PNG

4:08 am on 16 July 2012

The National Capital District Director of Public Health in Papua New Guinea is pleading for more funding to fight an outbreak of tuberculosis in Port Moresby.

Dr Niko Wuatai says they have registered 12 hundred cases of TB in the NCD in the first quarter of this year, but warns many more cases have probably gone unreported.

Dr Wuatai says TB is highly infectious and spreads quickly in overcrowded neighbourhoods.

He says new strains also appear to have multiple drug resistance, meaning it can now take two to three years to completely cure a patient.

"We have been experiencing a shortage of TB drugs. So really I'm appealing to our donor partners to continue to support the TB DOTS programme not only in NCD but also in Papua New Guinea. It is still a major problem that will be with us for many years to come."

Niko Wuatai says anyone who is sick should get medical help straight away to avoid spreading the disease.